Saturday, September 12, 2015

Don't Cry in Your Ribeye

Well, whew. Cattle showing season is done for us. Anna's run with her nice steer has come to an end, with the punctuation of a Reserve Grand Champion
(which is second overall)
(second to a really, really, really good one.)
(like, really, really, really good).

She was satisfied, and when he went to auction off, I watched her face.

My girl is made of steel evidently.

For those of you who were like me who thought show steers became pets and hung out happily living out their lives in a green pasture, ala the Psalms, you're living a LIE.
For those of you who are also like me who love their ribeyes cooked medium with some sauteed mushrooms and a side of garlic bread, you have to sell steers at their prime (no pun intended...I dislike prime beef).

So, Clyde was sold, generously purchased by a local bank with whom my grandmother has done business with for nearly a century (seriously...she's 101) (lots of parenthesis today), so we were happy.

But last night, as all the kids were tucked in bed, and I finally sat down to process the day, alone as Joe and Anna hopped back into the truck and trailer to buy another set of show calves in Indiana this morning, I got a little sad.

There's no secret that I am not a big animal person. Never in my life have I wanted to pet something unless it was laid out at Von Maur saying "please touch the merchandise." God's creatures are great and all, but it's just not in me.

However, when your kid is interested in something with all her heart, investing time and money and sweat and energy, you seem to take on this similar perspective. Anna loves her show animals, but is a realist. This is where she's more Joe than me. She led Clyde into the ring to be auctioned off with confidence and realism. She knew going into this process that he would be sold and led to the locker to be made into beef for our freezer or someone else's.


How many ten year olds have that in their life skill set?

I didn't.

I still don't, really.

But, you won't find me crying in my ribeye in a few weeks. While Clyde gave us a good run this summer and fall, he will add  to both Anna's checking account and our freezer. We'll look at the pictures and ribbons and trophies from a fun summer. I'll remember her face at Fairview, first taste of winning, and her face when he was misbehaving, hurt from being rammed into the gates, willing herself not to cry.

Life is a cycle, friends. Animal rights activists may beg to differ, citing this as cruelty, but there's not a lot of arguing to be had about this. There are times to reap and times to sow, and that applies to animals, too.

Especially when they are served with a butter cream sauce and baked potato on the side.


  1. Love this Emily! I am so proud of Anna too! Your words really speak to a mamma's heart.

  2. For nearly fifteen years, this former city girl now farm mama has watched her children proudly showing their steers and then stoically watching them get on the trailer to be taken to the meat locker. Some of the steers even allowed the kids to lay down with them in the pen at the fair! There were often tears and then their Daddy would step in and give them God's lesson in it all. And then, when we brought the meat home from the locker it was "Steve" tacos to celebrate, laugh and give them courage to do it all over again next year!